|Publication number||US7438268 B2|
|Application number||US 11/741,848|
|Publication date||Oct 21, 2008|
|Filing date||Apr 30, 2007|
|Priority date||Feb 27, 2007|
|Also published as||US20080203040|
|Publication number||11741848, 741848, US 7438268 B2, US 7438268B2, US-B2-7438268, US7438268 B2, US7438268B2|
|Inventors||Joseph F. Kologe|
|Original Assignee||Trion Industries, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (16), Classifications (8), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 11/679,507, filed Feb. 27, 2007, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,404,533 and of my co-pending application Ser. No. 11/741,317, filed Apr. 27, 2007.
Merchandise displays frequently are arranged by mounting shelves and other display elements on a gondola or other display wall. Commonly, such display walls are provided with spaced apart, slotted uprights in the form of U-shaped metal channels provided substantially along their full length with uniformly spaced apart slots. The slots are adapted to receive shelf brackets, for example, and various other devices and apparatus utilized in connection with the display of merchandise.
One common display apparatus consists of a horizontal display bar, typically of square or rectangular cross section, which is held at its opposite ends by brackets. The brackets are arranged for adjustable movement along the length of the display bar, to accommodate for different spacings between uprights, and serve to mount the display bar on the uprights. Typically, the mounting brackets are provided with upwardly opening recesses to receive the display bar. In some cases, openings, closed on all sides, receive the display bar.
A serious disadvantage of these prior art devices is that the mounting brackets are separable from the display bar. Accordingly, when the display facilities are removed from the uprights, and reused elsewhere or stored between uses, the mounting brackets easily can become separated and lost or misplaced relative to the display bar for which they were intended. A display bar with a single mounting bracket is useless and much valuable employee time can be wasted trying to find all of the parts of a set so that they may be properly reused. The net result, frequently is considerable inefficiency and unnecessary expense and in the managing of store displays.
A display bar assembly according to the invention is comprised of a display bar of polygonal configuration, typically square, and preferably hollow. Mounting brackets are provided for each end of the display bar, and these are formed with openings, substantially closed on all sides, and of a configuration generally corresponding to that of the display bar. It is not necessary that the openings be totally closed, but they should be sufficiently closed that the display bar can be removed therefrom only by movement in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the display bar. When applied over the display bar, the mounting brackets are normally nonrotatable with respect to the bar.
Pursuant to one aspect of the invention, retaining elements are applied to each end of the display bar, after the mounting brackets are assembled thereon. The retaining elements advantageously are in the form of flanged plugs, which can be inserted in and tightly retained by the opposite ends of the display bar. The plugs form and end flange at the end extremities of the display bar, to prevent the removal of the mounting brackets. In this respect, the device of the invention is a complete assembly of the display bar and mounting brackets, with the brackets being effectively nonremovable and always retained with the display bar for use when and where the store manager desires.
In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the mounting brackets are each provided with a pair of angularly oriented mounting hooks arranged to be received in slots in the spaced uprights, as a means for attaching the display bar assembly to the uprights. The slot-engaging hooks are of generally L-shaped configuration defining, with an edge of the bracket, an open ended recess for receiving wall material of the upright, when the hook is engaged in a slot on the upright. To advantage, the two hooks are positioned on adjacent side edges of the brackets, oriented at 90 degrees to each other. The recess formed by one of the hooks is of greater width than that of the adjacent, angularly disposed hook. The arrangement is such that, by rotating the bar and bracket assembly 90 degrees, a different pair of slot-engaging hooks can be positioned to be inserted in the uprights. This arrangement accommodates the fact that some uprights are formed with heavier, thicker metal walls than others, and the best fit can be achieved easily with the assembly of the invention by rotating the bar to select the proper width of hook recess.
Desirably, the slot-engaging hooks provided on the mounting brackets are offset slightly to the outside of the principal plane of the brackets. Thus, in cases where two display bars are mounted more or less end to end in a display arrangement, adequate clearance is provided for the presence of the flanged end plugs.
In another advantageous embodiment of the invention, the display bar is designed for mounting of special display hooks, which require the display bar to be provided with openings on the front and back sides to receive the display hooks. Accordingly, in this embodiment of the invention, the display bar itself must remain in a predetermined orientation, appropriate for the display hooks, and this in turn requires that the mounting brackets be rotatable with respect to the display bar, in order to present a different set of slot-engaging hooks to the slotted uprights. For this embodiment of the invention, the display bar is provided at a limited number of locations (preferably a single location) with indentations at the four corners of the display bar, forming notches in the corners. The openings in the mounting brackets for this second embodiment can be primarily circular in shape, of a diameter corresponding to the diagonal dimension of the display bar at the corner notches. In addition, the mounting brackets are provided with angularly spaced recesses, corresponding in size and position with the location of the four corners of the display bar. When the brackets are positioned on the display bar at any axial location except the notched area, the corners of the display bar are received in the recesses in the mounting brackets, and the display bar is locked against rotation with respect to the mounting brackets. However, when a mounting bracket is moved longitudinally along the bar to the location of the corner notches, the bracket may, when in that position, be rotated relative to the display bar to bring a different hook into operative position. Thereafter, the bracket is moved away from the location of the notches, and is once again locked against rotation with respect to the display bar. Preferably, the width of the corner notches is such as to accommodate both mounting brackets simultaneously, so that the rotational adjustment of the mounting brackets relative to the display bar may be quickly accomplished.
For a more complete understanding of the above and other features and advantages of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment, and to the accompanying drawings.
Referring now to the drawings, the reference numeral 10 designates generally a display wall, which can be a gondola, for example, or simply a vertical wall structure. Mounted on the wall 10 are spaced apart slotted uprights 11, 12, which are suitably secured to the wall 10 and extend vertically more or less along its entire vertical extent. Typical merchandise display arrangements tend to use somewhat standardized spacings for the uprights 11, 12, for example approximately thirty inches, thirty-six inches and forty-eight inches. The uprights can be used for mounting a wide variety of display devices, such as shelf-supporting brackets, bins, etc. and including display bars such as shown at 13 in
At each end of the display bar 13 is a mounting bracket 14, to be described further, by which the display bar 13 is mounted on and secured to the uprights 12. Typically, the spacing between the uprights 11, 12, though more or less standardized, frequently is inaccurate. Accordingly, it is customary for mounting brackets to be adjustably associated with the display bar mounted thereby. Commonly, the brackets are provided with upwardly opening recesses for receiving the display bar. After mounting of the brackets on uprights, the display bar is lowered into the upwardly opening recesses, which nonrotatably retain the display bar. In some cases, the brackets are formed with openings which are closed on all sides, and the brackets are slidably assembled onto the ends of the display bar before the brackets are engaged with the uprights. In either case, the brackets are separable from the display bar and often become misplaced, resulting in considerable inefficiency and expense to the storekeeper. In the system of the invention, the mounting brackets 14, are formed with openings 15, at least partly closed on all sides to prevent lateral separation, and configured to closely but slidably receive the display bar 13. In the illustrated arrangement, the display bar 13 has a square cross section, uniform along its full length, and the openings 15 are of a corresponding shape, with a small clearance provided to accommodate slidable adjustments of the brackets. Unlike the prior art, however, the display assembly of the invention includes means for permanently retaining the mounting brackets on the display bar 13.
In the assembly of the invention, after initial assembly of the brackets 14 onto the display bar, flanged end plugs 16 are applied to the opposite ends of the display bar. As shown in
Referring now to
Recesses 26, 27 are formed between the respective side edges 17, 18 of the mounting brackets and the hook portions 23, 24. To advantage, the widths of the respective recesses 26, 27 differ, so as to more suitably fit with the uprights 11. In this respect, the uprights typically are of a U-shaped cross section, with front walls 28 and side walls 29, 30, typically formed of rolled sheet metal. Some uprights may be of a heavier gauge construction than others, for supporting heavier loads. Thus, the recesses 26, 27 of the mounting brackets are arranged in different widths, to fit more appropriately on heavier gauge and lighter gauge uprights. Additionally, the recesses 26, 27 of a bracket 14 are unidirectionally oriented, to open in the same clockwise direction, i.e., clockwise as viewed in
Preferably, the mounting hooks 19, 20 of the brackets 14 are offset laterally a short distance (for example an eighth inch) from the outside face of the bracket. In this respect, the brackets will be provided in pairs for installation at the left and right ends respectively of the display bar, with the hook portions being offset to the outside, substantially as shown in
The displacement of the hooks 19, 20 is advantageous for installations, such as shown in
In the embodiment of
As will be readily understood, the display bar 42 of
In the embodiment of the invention shown in
To accommodate rotation of the brackets 45, when it is desired to operationally exchange the positions of the slot-engaging hooks 47, 48, the display bar is provided with a region 51 of limited axial length which is formed with a reduced cross sectional configuration. The maximum dimension of the region 51 is slightly less than the diameter of the generally circular opening 49. Accordingly, when a bracket 45 is moved axially into alignment with the region 51, the bracket may be rotated 90° relative to the display bar, to bring a new hook 47, 48 into operative position without changing the orientation of the display bar. Although it is not necessary to the invention, it is generally advantageous for the width of the region 51 to be sufficient to receive both brackets simultaneously, so that both brackets may be rotationally repositioned together. Only one such region 51 of reduced cross section is required and it may be located anywhere along the bar 42, although preferably spaced from any set of holes 40, 41.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the region 51 of reduced cross section of formed by providing corner notches 52 to a sufficient depth to enable the notched region of the display bar to rotate within the circular portions of the opening 49, substantially as illustrated in
An important practical advantage of the invention is that the display bar and its mounting brackets constitute a unitary assembly, with the mounting brackets being permanently joined with the display bar. Important savings in both cost and man-hours of store labor can be realized by avoiding the annoying problem of lost and misplaced components, which inevitably occurs when the mounting brackets are not a fixed part of the display assembly. At the same time, where the display bar must be oriented in a particular manner, while enabling rotational re-orientation of the mounting brackets, the assembly of the invention includes a novel, simplified and inexpensive arrangement to provide that capability.
It should be understood, of course, that the specific forms of the invention herein illustrated and described are intended to be representative only, as certain changes may be made therein without departing from the clear teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, reference should be made to the following appended claims in determining the full scope of the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||248/220.22, 248/558, 248/251, 248/911|
|Cooperative Classification||A47F5/0838, Y10S248/911|
|Apr 30, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TRION INDUSTRIES, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KOLOGE, JOSEPH F.;REEL/FRAME:019226/0654
Effective date: 20070427
Owner name: TRION INDUSTRIES, INC.,PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KOLOGE, JOSEPH F.;REEL/FRAME:019226/0654
Effective date: 20070427
|Mar 1, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Mar 8, 2016||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8